In the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica there is an extraordinary diversity of marine life. Much of our understanding of the biology of these animals comes from studies of the adaptations of these animals to sub-zero ocean conditions. Research to date on Antarctic fishes has focused on adult life stages with much less research on early life stages that likely prioritize growth and development and not physiological mechanisms of stress tolerance. This project addresses the mechanisms that early life stages (embryos, larvae and juveniles) of Antarctic fishes use to respond to changes in ocean conditions. Specifically, the project will examine energetic trade-offs between key developmental processes in the context of environmental change.
The team will be based out of McMurdo Field Station, Antarctica and will be taking day trips to field sites located on the sea ice around McMurdo Sound. They will access their field sites using a Piston Bully and snow machines.
Denise Hardoy has been a middle school science teacher at a small K-8 school in the rural central coast of California for the past sixteen years. Her journey to Antarctica began three years ago as she threw out textbooks and delved headfirst into project-based science. After training through Polar ICE and the Monterey Bay Aquarium SCI I PBS Institute, she implemented environmentally based science curriculum for her school. In 2018, she authored and was awarded a NOAA grant for her school to study the effects of the drought on the local watershed. Her professional goals include promoting environmental literacy for all, developing a love of science and fostering a stewardship mindset in her students. In her free time, Denise enjoys gardening and making soap and cheese from the milk provided by her small herd of dairy goats and sheep.
Dr. Anne Todgham is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California Davis. Todgham is an environmental physiologist with an interest in understanding the molecular, biochemical and physiological strategies animals use to cope with environmental change. Currently her work has an eye towards global climate change and addresses the general question of whether contemporary marine animals have the physiological flexibility necessary to withstand the unprecedented rates of environmental change. She is particularly interested in how organisms respond to multiple stressors that are predicted to change simultaneously, such as ocean temperature and ocean acidity. Her work is trying to understand how well these fish are at multi-tasking the various demands placed by different stressors. Todgham studies a wide variety of organisms from estuarine as well as temperate and polar marine ecosystems. In the Antarctic, her project is investigating the capacity of early life stages of Antarctic fishes to tolerate projected changes in temperature and CO2 levels and the energetic costs associated with responding to these changes. She earned her B.Sc. in Marine Biology at the University of Guelph, Canada and her Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia, Canada.